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The Subramanium Study Centre

A centre for interdisciplinary collaboration and research into mental health

Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Sir Simon Wessely is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London and a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at King’s College and the Maudsley Hospitals.

Simon Wessely studied medicine and history of art at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and finished his medical training at University College Oxford, graduating in 1981. He obtained his medical membership in Newcastle, before moving to London to train in psychiatry at the Maudsley. He has a Master’s and Doctorate in epidemiology. He is a Foundation Senior Investigator of the National Institute for Health Research, and past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2017 he was asked by the then Prime Minister to chair the Independent Review into the Mental Health Act, which was accepted by the government and is now the basis of the 2021 White Paper.

He has over 800 original publications, with an emphasis on the boundaries of medicine and psychiatry, unexplained symptoms and syndromes, population reactions to adversity, military health, epidemiology and others. He founded the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, which is now the main source of information on the health and well-being of the UK Armed Forces past and present and has been Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry to the British Army since 2001,

He also has a long-standing interest in how both ordinary people and organisations react to adversity. Since 2013 he has been the Director of the Public Health England/NIHR Health Protection Research Unit into Emergency Preparedness and Response. This has meant heavy involvement in our COVID-19 research response, in addition to which he is also PI on the MRC/ESRC funded NHS Check, a major study of the impact of the pandemic on NHS staff health and well being

He has co-authored books on chronic fatigue syndrome, randomised controlled trials and a history of military psychiatry, although sadly none of them are best sellers.

He is active in public engagement activities, speaking regularly on radio, TV and at literary and science festivals. He was a trustee of Combat Stress for over ten years and his contributions to veterans’ charities include cycling (slowly) eight times to Paris to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

Despite all of the above, he lists as his principal hobby “arguing in cafes”.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely

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